THE READER | by B.J. Huchtemann March 11, 2004

Honkytonk Soul

Local music fans have an exceptional opportunity to check out Southern California's Hacienda Brothers. The quintet is one of the buzz bands among roots-rock shows headed to South by Southwest in Austin next week. Lucky for us the Hacienda Brothers are coming to Lincoln and Omaha en route to Austin, with four nights at the Zoo Bar and an early Sunday show at Omaha's Crescent Moon Ale House.

The leaders of the Hacienda Brothers are Dave Gonzalez and Chris Gaffney. Gonzalez is familiar to Paladins fans as the Pals' vocalist and blistering lead guitarist. Dave has a variety of musical interests outside the old-school rockabilly that has formed the backbone of the Paladins sound. "I write a lot of songs that the Paladins can't do as a trio," Gonzalez told a Tucson, Ariz., paper in December. Those mid-tempo country songs find a home with the Hacienda Brothers.

Chris Gaffney is a veteran of the southwestern music scene who sometimes works as a sideman for Dave Alvin. Gaffney is also acclaimed for his solo singer-songwriter work. He was named number two among California's OC Weekly's 2003 list of "the 129 Greatest OC Bands Ever."

"Gaffney's skewed songs of love and loss are as good as country gets," said the Weekly. The write-up noted that Gaffney's long-time band, the Cold Hard Facts, can "floor you in a set, bursting with passion, slashing musical interplay. Gaffney's life-besotted vocals and all the other grand stuff that doesn't translate to paper ... this is the band by which all others must be judged and found wanting."

Mix Gaffney and Gonzalez and you get an incendiary musical pairing that the two call the Hacienda Brothers. With Gonzalez on guitar and Gaffney on accordion and acoustic guitar, the duo are backed by a pedal steel guitar, bass and drums ensemble.

Hear for yourself when the Hacienda Brothers take up residence at Lincoln's Zoo Bar starting on Wednesday, March 10 at 9:30 p.m. Chubby Carrier is the early show at 6 p.m. The Hacienda lovefest continues on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 11, 12 and 13.

Sunday afternoon the Hacienda Brothers high-tail it to Omaha's Crescent Moon Ale House, 3578 Farnam St. Opening the show at 5 p.m. will be the bluegrass-country of Austin's Weary Boys. This band was a huge hit at the Moon last fall. The Hacienda Brothers are scheduled for 6 p.m. Advance tickets for the March 14 show are recommended and available at the Moon.